Goa’s beaches are among the most famous in the Indian subcontinent and the destination of thousands of tourists each year. This small southern Indian State has a combination of beaches, nature, great weather for much of the year, and many nightlife options.
Why Goa’s beaches are famous
Goa is the smallest state in India, but it still has more than 125 km of coastline with more than 50 beaches. Here we have combined a list of 10 Best Beaches of Goa.
From the 70s and 80s, many foreigners came to the beaches and turned them into a hippie paradise of music and drugs. Now everything is more controlled. Goa is famous for its nightlife and because alcohol is much cheaper than in other states in India. If you have been traveling around the rest of India, you will be surprised by the price of a beer. Palolem Beach in the South, and Anjuna Beach in the North are the Top Beaches in Goa.
Now the parties are more limited, but it is still a place with many nightlife options and entirely focused on electronic music and trance. Due to its hippie influence, a lot of yoga is practiced, and street markets are conventional.
What is the best time to visit Goa?
The best time to visit Goa is between November and February, both months included. The sea is calmer, and the sun is almost guaranteed. While in northern India, there is harsh winter, but in Goa, the temperature is ideal to enjoy the sun.
Like all of India, especially in the south, Goa is affected by the monsoon. The rains of this phenomenon affect between May and October and make it not advisable to travel at this time. In this season the sea is very rough and dirtier due to all the rain, it is very hot, and most businesses (bars, restaurants, shops, some hotels …) remain closed. Therefore, from Incredible India, we do not usually recommend travelling to Goa this season.
October and March are transitional months, and it depends a little on how lucky we are. In April, you can still enjoy something, but it is very hot, and businesses begin to close.
Best beaches in Goa
The capital Panaji or Panjim, the airport, and the port are more or less in the centre of the State. That is why we divide Goa’s beaches into two parts, between the shores of northern Goa and the beaches of southern Goa.
Although it is a small state, communications are not good, so it takes a long time to get from one point to another. That is why most visitors choose between going north or south.
Where are the best beaches in Goa, in the north or in the south?
There are as many answers as there are people you ask. Much depends on what you are looking for, what is clear is that there is no profound difference between one option or another. In general, it can be said that in the north there are more nightlife options: bars, clubs, “beach bars”… Perhaps there is domestic tourism in the north and more foreigners in the south, where the beaches are “quieter”.
Best beaches in North Goa
Famous for its nightlife, it is the place to go if we are looking for parties and music. Several clubs carry international artists and DJs. It is also well known for its Wednesday market, the Anjuna Flea Market. It usually only works in season, between November and April or so.
Very close to the previous one, much quieter, and with fewer leisure and accommodation options. The beach itself is much more natural, with fewer constructions. There is a luxury hotel, the W, and many cheaper options. There is also the famous Guesthouse The Jungle by The Hostel Crowd.
To try the traditional food of the area with modern touches, we recommend Comida Caseira ( https://goo.gl/maps/df8UnDR45Y1DMdTP8 ), to eat bread and confectionery made on the day: “Jaws”; and for a beer the famous The Mango Tree.
The most famous electronic music festival in India and the most famous in all of Asia is celebrated at Christmas: Sunburn ( https://sunburn.in/ )
Further to the north, we find Arambol, also famous as a more hippie and quiet destination. It is a beach with many fewer hotel options, most of a fundamental level. Many foreigners come to it, especially young people who take advantage of their vacations to do yoga courses and juggle on the beach.
On the beach, several establishments serve drinks and meals. All are more or less similar in terms of quality, menu, and prices. The guys who work on them will try to take us to theirs. They offer you a lounger and towel to spend the day there. At dusk, there is a pleasant atmosphere at the Sea Horse, with live music many nights. And for breakfast, the German Bakery is famous, which is almost next door. Also for dinner is a good option, with a little more variety on the menu, the Mexican restaurant Bee’s Knees.
Following Arambol almost continuously is the Mandrem beach.
Baga, Calangute and Candolim beaches
It is an area that has three more or less followed beaches. They are the most “developed” beaches in Goa, given that they have a multitude of restaurants, bars, beach bars, and booths of all kinds. They are along the beach and on the parallel streets. They are not very wide beaches, and the space in the sand is significantly reduced at high tide.
It is also a place where there are many options for water sports and excursions to see defines.
Baga, Calangute, and Candolim have the advantage of a great variety of accommodation. Still, the area is somewhat noisy, and they have a lot of domestic tourism.
Best beaches in South Goa
One of the most popular beaches in southern Goa. It is in a bay so the waters are usually calmer than its neighbours.
It has a wide variety of basic beachfront accommodation: quite simple and somewhat expensive cabins for what they offer. Still, they allow sleeping with views of the sea and the sound of the waves.
Superior hotel options are more limited, with a 5 *: The LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort Goa and a 4 *: El Sobit Sarovar Portico.
When it comes to dining and entertainment, there are quite a few options along the beach, and Palolem is famous for silent parties: parties where music is heard over wireless headphones.
And very close to Palolem is Patnem beach, another exciting place to stay.
A few minutes from the best known Agonda we can find the beach of Cola. It is hidden among palm trees, at the end of a lagoon that ends at the beach.
It is very uncrowded because it is less popular and a little difficult to find. Furthermore, access is not easy, and the last two kilometers are on a dirt road. But this relative isolation makes it one of the few unspoiled beaches in Goa, and a paradise for those seeking tranquility. As you can imagine, the accommodation options are minimal. The only option is simple cabins on the seashore.
Not far from Palolem, we can find this smaller and more secluded beach.
Again the style of accommodation is similar, with cabins on the beachfront. Some of the higher quality and more expensive, others very very basic at an excellent price.
It is a beach with more waves that allow surfing. There are some schools and places to rent boards.
Between Vasco da Gama and Cabo de Rama stretches the longest beach in Goa. There are about 25 kilometres of beaches with different names but continuous: Arossim, Majorda, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim …
If the tide is low, the sand is hard, and you can do several kilometres by bicycle. They are rented in the area for very little money. But you have to be aware of the tides, or we will not be able to go back along the beach, and by road, it is not so recommended due to the traffic.
Most of the southern Goa resorts are in this area: Holiday Inn, Taj Exotica, Planet Hollywood, Hyatt, Radisson, The Leela… They are some of the best resorts in Goa.